Statement by NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on Iran’s Cyberattack against Albania

September 7, 2022

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Adrienne Watson

Author's Title: 

National Security Council Spokesperson

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  • Albania

The United States strongly condemns Iran’s cyberattack against our NATO Ally, Albania. We join in Prime Minister Rama’s call for Iran to be held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident. The United States will take further action to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of a U.S. ally and set a troubling precedent for cyberspace.

For weeks, the U.S. government has been on the ground working alongside private sector partners to support Albania’s efforts to mitigate, recover from, and investigate the July 15 cyberattack that destroyed government data and disrupted government services to the public. We have concluded that the Government of Iran conducted this reckless and irresponsible cyberattack and that it is responsible for subsequent hack and leak operations.

Iran’s conduct disregards norms of responsible peacetime State behavior in cyberspace, which includes a norm on refraining from damaging critical infrastructure that provides services to the public. Albania views impacted government networks as critical infrastructure. Malicious cyber activity by a State that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs its use and operation to provide services to the public can have cascading domestic, regional, and global effects; pose an elevated risk of harm to the population; and may lead to escalation and conflict. 

We will continue to support Albania’s remediation efforts over the longer-term, and we invite partners and Allies to join us in holding malicious cyber actors accountable and building a secure and resilient digital future.